Heritage Foundation: 64% of Trump's agenda already done, faster than Reagan
Paul Bedard, February 27, 2018
With unprecedented speed, the Trump administration has already implemented nearly two-thirds of the 334 agenda items called for by the Heritage Foundation, a pace faster than former President Reagan who embraced the conservative think tank’s legendary “Mandate for Leadership” blueprint.
Thomas Binion, director of congressional and executive branch relations at Heritage, said that Trump has implemented 64 percent of the “unique policy recommendations” from the group.
At this stage of his presidency, Reagan had completed 49 percent of the Heritage policy recommendations.
“We’re blown away,” Binion said in an interview. Trump, he said, “is very active, very conservative, and very effective.”
What’s more, he said, Trump hasn’t just focused on one agenda area, but he and his team has pushed through administrative moves on foreign policy, deregulation, immigration, tax reform and health care, moves often ignored by the media.
“It is a huge volume that his administration has worked on and it is a huge spectrum of issues,” said Binion.
His report card jives with one from the West Wing which showed at the end of the year that the administration has scored 81 major achievements slashed at least 11 major legacy items of former President Barack Obama.
Together, the policy wins are adding up to a reelection agenda. “It is absolutely a winning agenda,” said Binion.
“He has been very, very active,” said Binion. “He is moving the ball in the conservative direction,” he added.
In Heritage’s review of Trump’s moves so far, they highlighted these actions:
- Leaving the Paris Climate Accord: In August 2017, Trump announced the U.S. was ending its funding and membership in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
- Repealing Net Neutrality: In December 2017, Trump’s Federal Communications Commission chairman proposed ending the 2015 network neutrality rules.
- Reshaping National Monuments: Heritage’s recommendation to prohibit Land Acquisition (Cap and Reduce the Size of the Federal Estate) was adopted by Trump when he issued two executive orders effectively shrinking the size of national monuments in Utah.
- Reinstating the Mexico City Policy: This executive order prevents taxpayer money from funding international groups involved in abortion and ending funding to the United Nations Population fund. On Jan. 23, 2017, in his first pro-life action, Trump signed an executive order today reinstating the Mexico City Policy.
- Increasing Military Spending: Trump’s budget calls for a $54 billion increase in military spending to improve capacity, capability, and readiness of America’s armed forces.
- Reforming Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF): The Trump administration adopted and is in favor of strengthening existing work requirements in order to receive benefits.
- Allowing Development of Natural Resources: The Trump administration opened off-shore drilling and on federal lands. Executive Order 13783 directed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to commence federal land coal leasing activities.
- Reforming Government Agencies: Trump tasked each of his Cabinet secretaries to prepare detailed plans on how they propose to reduce the scope and size of their respective departments while streamlining services and ensuring each department runs more efficiently and handles tax dollars appropriately.
- Withdrawing from UNESCO: In October 2017, Trump announced he was putting an end to U.S. membership in the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).